Al Pastor and Muelas: What to Buy at the Redland Market Village
We've tried to convince you to check out the Redland Farmers Market and Bargain Town in the past, but if you are yet to take our advice here's another plea. Maybe you're hesitant to travel all the way down to Homestead only to be disappointed, but if you have taste buds then you won't be. If your excuse is that you don't know what to buy, well, then we've got you covered. Below, a treasure map of sorts to the pleasures of the Redland.
1. Tacos from Lucky Taco ($1.50)
In a city not lacking in taco joints, these easily stand out, and at $1.50 you'll have trouble saying no to a second round. Their rendition of Al Pastor explodes with the flavor of pineapple, and the Barbacoa sauce is sticky and rich. Even the unadorned shredded pork shines on its own, and the lengua, which was not on the taco list during our last visit, is available and should not be missed.
2. Stone Crab Claws ($6.95)
"Sure beats the hell out of the prices at Joe's," comments a curious onlooker to our right. Does it beat the quality or the flavor? Who knows, but at that price it's definitely worth a shot. Hit the same stall for some fish heads, which make a killer stew.
3. Dried Flor de Jamaica ($4 a bag)
With a sweet, tart flavor reminiscent of dried cranberry, this flower of the Hibiscus plant will easily enhance your tea arsenal, but with a bit of effort (and some Googling) you'll discover stews, enchiladas, and an upgrade to the ubiquitous margarita can be created with this fragrant flower.
4. Fruit with Lime, Chili, and Salt ($3)
Simplicity at its best, a bowl of fruit seasoned with spice and salt makes for a healthy snack, and what better place to enjoy it then straight from the farmers market. Design your own combination from a selection including papaya, coconut, jicama, pineapple, mango, and even cucumber, which elevates this humble fruit (yes, like tomatoes, botanically cukes aren't vegetables) to new heights.
5. Fresh Garbanzo Beans (~$2/lb)
Ever had fresh garbanzo beans? Didn't think so. The farmer's market is about grabbing something you've never cooked before and learning something new. These beans burst with fresh, raw flavor, so ditch the canned stuff and char them, shell-on, in a cast-iron skillet, season with olive oil and salt, and consume edamame-style.
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